It might be a good idea to start forming your creative team now! This high-stakes, global collaboration is between India’s Department of Science and Technology, Mission Innovation, and the Rocky Mountain Institute. The prize’s ambassador is billionaire philanthropist Sir Richard Branson.
These groups are joining together to bring awareness to a source of climate change problems that many might not be aware about: air conditioners. And that’s where one of the issues lies: we can’t really live without this technology, but at the same time, its current design is harming the environment.
The number of room air conditioning units is predicted to triple in the next 30 years to a massive 4.5 billion units by 2050, up from the current 1.2 billion current room units. Reports show that an increase this drastic could cause the global temperature to rise by 0.5°C by the year 2100.
Of course, there are lots of rules and stipulations around the prize and the prototype that has to be built. Of those, it has to be affordable, have a 5x or less impact on the environment, and meet other sizing, power, and sustainability needs. You can find a complete list of those guidelines here.
If you want to try your luck at designing the AC system that could take over—and save—the world, now’s your chance! Preliminary applications are due June 2019, with finalists being announced in November 2019 and prize winners determined in late 2020.
You can check out the official Global Cooling Prize here, where you can read more about the competition, the prize, apply, donate, and more!